Don’t Have a Hurry in Me

To say that we have no sense of urgency since the wedding would be a bit of an understatement.

You could say that our “get up and go has got up and went”.

We just can’t find a hurry.

But then, when you consider that in six months we’ve had 2 graduations and a wedding – all pretty major life events – in addition to 3 extended family trips, county fair, and VBS that I planned and directed, it’s understandable.

All we’ve done is plan, hurry, plan some more, hurry some more.

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But there’s some things about fall in the country that demand a bit of urgency. Important things like fencing and preparing the critters for winter and bringing in the last of the garden produce while cleaning up the garden.

And there’s storm doors to install, cold frames to plant, and I should really make a path through the basement and put away wedding things.

This gorgeous weather has lulled us into a false sense of complacency.

Maybe this lovely, lingering autumn will never end.

Maybe that late frost will forget to come.

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After all – my flower beds are beautiful and I’m still harvesting green beans and peppers from my garden.

But then we turned the calendar page to November.

November!

That’s the month before December.

In a few short weeks we’ll be eating turkey with stuffing and doing Black Friday, and putting up a Christmas tree!

Hallmark is already showing Christmas movies!

Vacation is over.

Time to get busy!

Winter is coming!

And I’ll get started right away – just as soon as I finish this chapter and check email.

I wonder who’s on Facebook…

 

 

 

 

 

Wedding Dip

One thing both Laura and Steven wanted for their wedding was a relaxed and informal reception.

They didn’t want a cake.

They didn’t want a bridal table.

They didn’t want a big meal.

They didn’t want speeches.

All they wanted was ice cream, dancing under twinkle lights, and a sparkler send off surrounded by their family and close friends.

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And they got it!

The dancing under the twinkle lights and the sparkler send-off’s we’re pretty straight forward! (Hint – the key to a successful sparkler send-off at a wedding is to put a pyromaniac brother and brothers-in-law in charge of lighting them with propane torches just ahead of the bridal couple – then taking a series of pictures as they walk through!)

But the food had me stymied for awhile.

The ice cream and toppings were easy – but not enough. We added veggies and my homemade ranch dip, but we still needed more.

We finally settled on queso dip and chips.

Yes, I know it sounds odd – queso and weddings just don’t seem to go together. I knew we needed a step up from the typical Velveeta cheese and salsa dip – a little fancier version without the vivid yellow color.

And we found it – a simple queso dip without processed foods that was a beautiful wedding white color with small specks of the deep red tomatoes! We made it fancy by served it from a large chafing dish with the chips in a large basket beside it.

It helped make the reception relaxed, fun and more of a party!

And since so many guests have asked for the recipe – here it is!

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Wedding Dip

1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies
8 ounces cream cheese, full fat
1 pound pepper jack cheese
8 ounces sour cream, full fat
3/4 cup whole milk (or half & half)

Melt together, stirring well and serve warm with tortilla chips or crackers.

We made it ahead of time in large batches on the stove, stirring and stirring, thinking it was always going to be a big stringy, gooey mess and and then there was a magical moment when it all came together into amazing dip!

Then we stored it in the fridge and reheated in crock pots.

You could probably dump all the ingredients in the crock pot and let it heat on low until melted or zap it in the microwave to melt, just remember that stirring is your friend.

It refrigerates well and can be frozen (although it does get just slightly grainy in the freezer).

Enjoy!

Mr. and Mrs.

In a rustic lodge sparkling with luminaries and thousands of twinkle lights,

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surrounded by family and close friends,

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while the sun set over the lake,

they said “I do”.

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And we celebrated!

It was a beautiful, meaningful, and just plain fun evening!

Our little girl was radiantly happy.

And so are we.

Heirloom Project

Laura had a couple of small projects she wanted done for her wedding.

Both turned out very cute, but one ended up being something even more.

It started out as an idea from Pinterest – their initials on weathered barn boards.

She found the wooden initials and hoped that a search through our pole barn would yield some neat barn boards that could be used to create the background.
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But it didn’t.

So we talked to Papa Jim – hoping he had something in his stash.

He, however, had a better idea.

Remember my Grandpa’s barn that was going to be taken down? It was still standing and had a lot of barn boards.

A quick call to my Uncle Delbert and we had access to all the wood we needed!

But wait – there’s more.

As the guys were cutting away at the boards in the barn – Uncle Delbert told me to run to his Ranger and grab the saw in the back.  I carried the old rusty tool back, wondering why in the world they needed it since the nice new saw seemed to be working just fine.

But Uncle Delbert took it, handed it my dad and said, “This was my grandpa’s saw.”

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Then the reality of the situation hit me and I grabbed Jan’s phone to record it.

Laura’s grandpa was cutting wood from her great-grandpa’s barn using her great-great-grandpa’s saw to make an original piece to decorate for her wedding and later on her home.

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How cool is that.

She doesn’t just have a one-of-a-kind piece, she has a bit of history.

It’s a heritage piece that goes back three generations and is anchored deep in the farm soil of north central Iowa.

Now that’s a pretty neat story to share.

 

Wedding Daze

img_0117Two weeks from tonight is the wedding.

Two weeks!!

Seriously people – the time just flew by!

The house is starting to look like wedding central and Jan and I have a “state of the wedding” meeting very night to cover our daily to-do lists.

Venue – check.

Invitations – check.

Wedding dress – check.

It was actually the second dress she tried on. Perfect.

She loves it!

Sorry – no peeking till the wedding day!

Bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers – check, check and check!

Would you believe I even found a mother-of-the-bride dress at a consignment store?

I love it!

Flowers are almost finished.

As are the centerpieces.

Tablecloths, serving pieces, and thousands of twinkle lights are ready for the reception.

There’s still some food to prepare, projects to finish and details to cover, but bit by bit the plans are coming together beautifully!

Which is good – because if the last two weeks go as fast as the previous ones – they are going to fly!

These are precious days, dear friends!

Days to cherish and remember.

The Wedding Daze.